Is it possible to change Adobe Illustrator settings to create an empty new document each time it is launched?

  • 1
    Could you just replace the shortcut to Illustrator with a shortcut to a black .AI document?
    – JohnB
    Commented Jan 9, 2013 at 19:49
  • Every document you create is exactly the same?
    – Scott
    Commented Jan 9, 2013 at 21:22
  • @Scott Yes most are the same size and format.
    – rraallvv
    Commented Jan 9, 2013 at 22:09
  • @rraallvv fair enough :) I could never get away with that. :)
    – Scott
    Commented Jan 9, 2013 at 22:54

2 Answers 2


I would save your blank document as an Illustrator Template (.ait) file and open that from Explorer/Finder instead. The new document will be named "Untitled" until you save it, so you can't accidentally save over the template.

The template can contain swatches, empty layers, view settings, your company logo in the corner, etc.

See also Working Smarter, with Templates on the Adobe Illustrator blog.

  • 1
    However, in OS X there is a bug with the way Adobe implemented templates. If you double click the template file from the finder it immediately duplicates the file in the same directory and opens that copy. I would be very happy to learn that this problem has been solved in new versions of Creative Suite or OS X but I have heard no such reports. Commented Jan 10, 2013 at 22:54

On OS X you can use an AppleScript to launch the app then create a new doc based on your settings. I've used this approach extensively, though not to create new docs.

I haven't written AS in a while so I'll leave the complicated stuff to a more qualified person. But I can give you some example solutions.

  1. To launch the app or just activate it:
    launch application "Adobe Illustrator"
  2. Direct AS to the file you want to open (like a template) with a path or a prompt like so:
    set theDoc to choose file with prompt "Select the document"
  3. Then tell Illy to open the file:
    tell application "Adobe Illustrator" to open theDoc

You can also set up some options to present in a prompt when the script is launched.

  • Choose between opening various common template files without the prompt
  • Create a new doc with the default settings
  • Point the applescript to a javascript that steps in once the Finder interaction is over
  • Activate a specific Workspace, depending on the project you're working on
  • Synchronize settings with a server or Dropbox directory

Spending a little time setting up the script at the start can result in noticeable cumulative time savings.

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